Tags: pope francis | brain | tumor | rumor | denied | vatican

Pope Francis Brain Tumor Rumor Slammed by Vatican as Possible Conspiracy

Pope Francis Brain Tumor Rumor Slammed by Vatican as Possible Conspiracy
Pope Francis touches his forehead during his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican October 21, 2015. (Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters)

By    |   Friday, 23 October 2015 11:40 AM

Rumors of a Pope Francis brain tumor were shut down on Wednesday, with the Vatican calling a report by the Quotidiano Nazionale newspaper "irresponsible" and "unjustified" and even suggesting the false report could be the result of a conspiracy.

The report claimed that Japanese neurosurgeon Takanori Fukushima discovered a "small, dark spot" on the pontiff's brain several months ago at the San Rossore di Barbaricina Clinic near Pisa, Italy, according to Agence France-Presse.

Quotidiano Nazionale reported that doctors found the tumor to be harmless and concluded that it could be treated without surgery, but now the Vatican is speaking out against the rumor.

"I can confirm that no Japanese doctor came to the Vatican to see the pope and there were no examinations of the type indicated in the article," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told journalists this week, according to AFP.

Indeed, Lori Radcliffe, practice administrator for Fukushima at the Carolina Neuroscience Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina, told Reuters that the Quotidiano Nazionale story was "absolutely false."

Radcliffe said that, while Fukushima did see the pope, he simply shook his hand alongside thousands of people this year at a general audience at the Vatican and never treated or evaluated him.

The Italian media has clutched onto the conspiracy theory plot, with the center-right daily Il Giornale even declaring, "Church in chaos: Who wants the pope dead?" according to The New York Times.

“The timing of this reveals an intent to manipulate and create unnecessary uproar,” the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said.

Andrea Cangini, the director of Quotidiano, told AFP that the newspaper is standing behind the story, but said she understands the Vatican's reaction.

"This denial is understandable and to be expected," Cangini said. "We waited a long time before publishing the report in order to carry out every possible check. We don't have the slightest doubt that it is founded."

Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and elected pope of the Roman Catholic Church in March 2013.

He was named Time magazine's Person of the Year in 2013 and has earned a place with the people for his support of the poor and other marginalized classes.

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Rumors of a Pope Francis brain tumor were shut down on Wednesday, with the Vatican calling a report by the Quotidiano Nazionale newspaper "irresponsible" and "unjustified" and even suggesting the false report could be the result of a conspiracy.
pope francis, brain, tumor, rumor, denied, vatican
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2015-40-23
Friday, 23 October 2015 11:40 AM
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